Beyond physical access to schools4 min read 21 Feb 2018, 11:34 PM IST
Consolidating small schools in close proximity would impart efficiency by pooling students and teachers, without compromising access
India has around 1.1 million elementary schools with 200 million children enrolled in them. About 96% of the habitations now have elementary schools within a 3km radius. In the last two decades, enrolment has been driven primarily by private schools. We see a mass exodus of students from government schools, resulting in the growth of small and tiny schools in both urban and rural areas. In 2015-16, there were about 250,000 elementary schools with an enrolment of 30 or less, out of which 78,300 have less than 15 students, according to Udise (unified district information system for education) data. Nearly 7,200 schools have zero enrolment. India stares at a huge dysfunctional public school system with small, tiny and empty schools scattered across the country.